How do I get people to convert on my site?

by

The above is a common question asked by many business owners about their websites. The simplest answer is to create a user conversion strategy that you test and improve over time.

First, you have to know what you want users to do while they are on your site. Here are some common examples:

  • Call you
  • Sign up for the company newsletter
  • Fill out a contact form
  • Subscribe to the blog
  • Attend a webinar
  • Register for an event
  • Make a purchase

Then you’ll want to review your site metrics to find the highest traffic pages. These are pages that the majority of your traffic views while visiting your site; pages like the home page, about us page, and contact us page. In your site analytics program, such as Google Analytics, select the date range to view your site’s traffic over the last year. In the Content section you can view “Top Content” to see which pages were the most viewed -  look at the top 25 or so pages. You can even export that list to keep in a working document of the data you are compiling.

Within Google Analytics’ Content Detail, you can review an assortment of data to audit these high traffic pages:

  • How much time are people spending on these pages and what are their bounce rates? This will tell you which pages intrigued users to move on to another page on the site.
  • Look at each of the selected pages and determine what calls to action are used on those pages. Compare the calls to action on the pages to the actual navigation path the user took after visiting that page. Did they take the desired action? What’s the current rate of conversion?
  • Using In-Page Analytics (currently in beta) to review click patters you can see the percentage of clicks a link received from a certain page. Are people doing what you want them to do or are they leaving the site without taking any action?
Google Analytics Content Detail Summary

Make a Strategic Change

  1. Make sure all of the high traffic pages on your site have a call to action (you can even use primary and secondary calls to action for different types of users).
  2. Review the current calls to action – Why aren’t they working? Are they too small? Outdated? Not using strong enough language?
  3. Make new calls to action if needed.

Assessment and Adjustment
After you’ve made some changes and given the site a little bit of time with the new conversion strategy in place, review the conversion rate. Has the rate improved? Worsened? Stayed the same? Are people taking the path you’re funneling them to, given your calls to action? If you notice an increase in the percentage of users completing the desired actions, congratulations!

If there hasn’t been an increase or the conversion rate has dropped, review the changes that were made and do some user experience testing between the previous and the new conversion elements. Ask testers to give you feedback on how they navigated through the site and what would have changed their navigation or click sequences. Then it’s back to the drawing board.

This process of assessment and adjustment is ongoing and as time goes on, our preferences as web users change. You should regularly review your site stats to determine if it’s performing at its best and then make adjustments to test as you go.